Sunday, November 20, 2011

Construction News and Latest on my Dogs


First generalities. Although Demetrio and Ruben had done good work, they had become a little slack on hours—by quite a margin. So I called on Benjamin, the Maestro de Obra, (otherwise known as the Big Kahuna) for both Yvonne’s many projects and my little one. Benjamin nodded his head and decreed that the work should have advanced more rapidly. He sent me two new men, both masons, one as the mason, the other as his helper. They were Julio, Benjamin’s brother, and Juan, their nephew. The work progressed at a pace that I hadn’t witnessed before—to my great delight!

Now all the outside walls have been erected. It’s quite interesting how they proceed. First the walls go up to the half-way mark and they are promptly “secured” one to the other by armed concrete at the main junction points. Then the second phase sees the walls all the way up to about 23 cm from the desired height. Over those a cadena will finish them up with armed concrete over all the walls and partitions. This to keep a strong base for dome ceilings as they are made of bricks and they exert considerable pressure in an outward fashion. This would cause cracking and fissures in the walls.

The photo below is the partition from the dining/kitchen looking to the bathroom on the left and to the bedroom on the right.

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The castillo on the right will be filled with concrete to secure the all brick partition to be built next to the existing walls. This partition separates the dining/kitchen from the living room.





The photo below on the left is the other end of the partition to be built. Left of the photo is the metal part (assembled by hand) over which concrete will be poured. To the right is the form made to accommodate the concrete. The opening will be the entry door. The photo on the right shows the concrete base over which the brick partition will be built this coming phase.

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The photo below is the northern wall of the bedroom. I wanted only glass squares way up. The headboard of my bed will be in the middle of the wall. I wanted to offer as little opportunity as possible for the cold wind in the winter to enter.

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This is not a new one on the right except for the llamarada vine in glorious bloom. I had feared the freezing nights of last winter had killed it. I’d had to cut it back in the spring to about one foot tall. In time, the whole wall will be covered in those bright orange blossoms that attract bees and hummingbirds.

A last note. The floors will come last. Enough tepetate will be packed in to leave just enough space to pour more concrete to line up to the top of the black waterproofing at the base of the walls.

I asked Julio what the life expectancy of such a house is. His prompt reply? At least a whole lifetime!

Below are my expenses:-

Details Cost in Mx. pesos
Bucket waterproofing 373.
Cement blocks, cal (limestone) and PVC tubes 1,813.
Red bricks or walls 450.
PVC tubes for drainage of washer, more cal and cement, metal wire to assemble forms 913.
Generator, 3,000 watts a good deal at Costco 4,474.
Travel 200.
Labour – Ruben for waterproofing 250.
Labour – Julio and Juan 2,600.
More blocks! 115.

TOTAL $11,188.

Here are the latest photos of my dogs. I don’t know how Queenie manages to squeeze herself into a tight ball, but she does for her night sleep. Tina usually presses herself very close to Queenie and Tasha uses the vacant space to stretch herself. Of course there is a bit of distortion on account of the perspective.

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When I had Tasha spayed the third week of June, the veterinarian stated that she had to be AT LEAST 8 months old. I had found her on March 5th, a tiny puppy that appeared to be only 5 to 6 weeks old, with her milk teeth and puppy fuzz. A quick calculation made her to have been about 4 months old! Hard to wrap my head around this one… but I did notice how quickly she’d shed her baby teeth and her puppy fuzz. Still…

This is how she looks at one year old.

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Just for comparison’s sake, here is Tina who will be 2 years old a little before Christmas. She has to be the sweetest dog I’ve had, ever.

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Not a prize photo on the right, but one that shows the difference in size between the two. As to Queenie, she’ll remain the Queen in size and character, except that at more than 9 years old, her muzzle, chin (practically her whole face) and paws are turning white.


Finally, a dilemma that continues to disturb me as I can’t make up my mind. On the one hand, I sorely miss having wheels. On the other, on account of my limited resources, construction has to go at a snail’s pace. I’m so longing to be in a REAL house, in regular size furniture, and with a bath and shower instead of just the shower, and have more than about 50 square feet of living space. I will have been boondocking on my lot for close to 2 years now. I moved on the lot on February 23rd of last year, 2010. The first year to pay for the lot, get water connection, septic tank, and a cement fence.  Construction has been going on for 5 months and space and amenities have diminished gradually as we went on. I’m sorely tempted to halt construction for a couple months to put money aside and resume construction in February, or even March and employ workers to finish the job more quickly.

Yvonne keeps reminding me of The Secret so I try to visualize $5,000. dollars dropping from the sky any time now. Then my decision would be to finish the house and settle down, THEN get wheels.

Who says that I can’t dream?


Anonymous said...

As always, the construction pics and figures are exciting. I continue to be amazed at the quality of the construction. I love seeing pictures of your babies. Dogs make you feel so needed.

Chicago Basement Waterproofing said...

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